Still doesn’t get it……
ISIL’s still not the varsity team, President Barack Obama said Sunday, but if Republicans running for president and in Congress continue to respond to attacks by playing off fears, they’re doing the terrorists’ work for them.
A Republican reaction that’s tried to block refugees from entering the country—and members of the media whom he blamed for lacking perspective in coverage over the last week—gives into the fear like they want, helps them recruit, and lets a group of people who’d have no hope of actually defeating American forces on the battlefield win anyway.
Upending American policy and talking about Christian-Muslim tests for entry that he said accept ISIL’s terms of a religious war will increase the threat for more attacks.
“Prejudice and discrimination helps ISIL and undermines our national security,” Obama said.
Even as Obama credited the group also known as the Islamic State for the Paris attacks, and for the first time publicly, for taking down the Russian passenger jet in Egypt, Obama repeatedly spoke about the limitations of the terrorist network he two years ago he referred to as the “JV team” —a remark that his critics still cite as evidence that he underestimates the threat.
“They’re a bunch of killers with good social media,” Obama told reporters Sunday. They are “dangerous,” he said, but, “Our way of life is stronger. We have more to offer.”
Obama stayed muted but firm during a press conference in Malaysia that wrapped up a frustrating nine-day trip abroad for the White House as it watched the political debate slip away back home. Obama used the session to outline the broad strokes of the counterterrorism strategy he’s overseen — a coalition of 65 countries responsible for 8,000 airstrikes, humanitarian aid and other actions.
Obama echoed language he’s used to condemn mass shootings in America in recent months, saying he’s not going to accept the prospect of terrorist attacks on soft targets as “the new normal.”